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COVID-19 Response Coordinator & Counselor to the President – no confirmation needed

Jeff Zients

by Deedra Abboud in Political
December 29, 2020 0 comments
Jeff Zients

On December 7, 2020, the Biden transition announced Jeff Zients as the presumptive appointment for coordinator of the COVID-19 response and counselor to the president.

The position: Coordinates the COVID-19 response on vaccines and other issues with agencies, and state and local governments.

Jeffrey Dunston Zients was born in Washington, D.C. in 1966, and raised in Kensington, Maryland.


Zients graduated from the St. Albans School prep school in 1984 and received a degree in political science from Duke University, graduating summa cum laude in 1988.


After college, Zients worked in management consulting for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and Bain & Company.
Zients was the and chief operating officer (1996–1998), chief executive officer (1998–2000), and chairman (2001–2004) of the Advisory Board Company and former chairman (2000–2001) of the Corporate Executive Board.


Zients founded and was the managing partner of Portfolio Logic LLC, an investment firm primarily focused on health care and business services.
Zients also sat on the boards of Revolution Health Group and Timbuk2 Designs.


He was a member of the board of directors of XM Satellite Radio until its 2008 merger, and a board member at Sirius XM Radio until his Senate confirmation in 2009 to the new position of United States Chief Performance Officer and Deputy Director for Management (DDM) of the Office of Management and Budget. It was Zients first governmental experience.


As DDM, Zients established and chaired the President’s Management Council.


Zients was the acting director of OMB from July 2010 to November 2010, and again from January 2012 to April 2013.


From 2014 to 2017, Zients was an assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council (NEC).


Zients also chaired the President’s Management Advisory Board.


The Wall Street Journal called Zients “a kind of ambassador to the business community”, and lobbying groups such as the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised Zients as someone who heard them out.

Zients joined Facebook’s board of directors in 2018, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. While on Facebook’s board, Zients chaired the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee. According to Facebook, he declined to seek re-election in 2020 “to devote more time to his business and other professional interests”. As of December 2020, Zients had reportedly sold all of his holdings of Facebook stock.


As of October 2020, Zients was co-chair of the presidential transition of Joe Biden.


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